Frozen pipes force Arviat health centre into emergency-only service
11 community health centres operating at reduced capacity
Arviat’s health centre is nearing a week of providing only emergency services, as work on frozen water pipes continues.
The pipes froze last weekend during a blizzard and services have been reduced since Monday, Danarae Sommerville, a spokesperson for the Health Department, said in an email.
“The centre has heat, however limited water as pipes are still being worked on,” she said.
There is no estimated time for the completion of repairs, but COVID-19 testing and vaccinations are still available, Sommerville said.
Like most local health centres, vaccines are not typically offered daily in Arviat to reduce the wasting of doses.
Since each vial of the vaccine contains multiple doses, resident appointments are taken in cohorts to avoid wasting doses, Sommerville said.
“With staff shortages, it has become even more important to cluster patient appointments for vaccines to ensure we are using human resources most effectively,” she said.
Although staffing levels are stable in Arviat and the reduction in services is due to the plumbing issues, 11 other health centres in Nunavut are operating at less than full capacity.
The health centres in Clyde River, Kinngait, Pangnirtung, Resolute, Sanirajak, Naujaat, Cambridge Bay, Kugluktuk and Taloyoak are operating with emergency services.
Igloolik and Rankin Inlet’s health centres are operating with reduced services, Sommerville said.
The PPD contractor has buildings frozen all over town. PPD is MIA.